Thursday, January 31, 2008

Marsha Ward Interviews Me

Marsha Ward has been very kind and gracious in posting her interview with me on her blog.

If you'd like to read it, here's the link to Marsha's blog. She interviews authors every month and it's always interesting to me to read other author's answers to her questions. I love to learn how others outline/don't outline, find character names, plot/don't plot, and what their writing schedules are. We all do things differently and I think it comes down to doing what works best for each one of us individually. One writer's way of doing things may not work at all for someone else. We all have to find our own groove.

Thanks, Marsha, for interviewing me. It was a lot of fun.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ready For Summer

It’s been snowing and snowing and snowing, and snowing some more. I can’t believe how much snow we’ve had. The ground has been covered with snow since the beginning of January—almost four weeks straight.

It’s wonderful to have so much snow because snow this winter means water during the summer. Colorado has suffered from a drought for most of the time I’ve lived here. We see the effects of the drought each summer when we have to start choosing between watering our garden or taking showers. I might be weird, but I always choose the shower. So all this snow means I may actually have a garden this summer.

The downside of the snow is the dangers it causes on the roads. We had a fatal accident last week because of icy road conditions. During an intense storm on Sunday and Monday, the police asked people to only call if the accident involved injuries or suspected substance abuse. Otherwise, motorists involved in accidents were told to go home and call the police later.

We’ve also experienced bitter cold. Temperatures dipped 10-20 degrees below zero every night for a few weeks and during the day the high was an average of about 15 degrees. While on the Klondike campout, my husband set a cup of water on the truck bumper, turned around to get a packet of hot chocolate mix, and then picked up his cup of ice. Yep, the water had frozen that fast. Now that’s cold.

Last night we had winds in excess of 40 miles an hour which caused snow drifts across our 1/8 mile long driveway. It also whipped snow all over the roads. We have snow inside our horse trailer because of the winds.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m ready for summer!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mormon Literature in Review

While I was reading posts at the LatterdayAuthors blog, I found this link posted by Janet Jensen that discusses Mormon Literature.

It's interesting reading and well worth a look. It's a discussion posted by Andrew Hall who reviews LDS works for the Association of Mormon Letters. Many well-known LDS authors are mentioned. I found it fascinating.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

At Long Last . . . My cover

Isn't it beautiful?

Here's the back copy:

“She’d wanted her father to pay more attention to her, and she’d wanted her family to be like it used to be. She hadn’t wanted everything to change so drastically that she may not even survive it.”

As Liza excels physically, everyone—from college basketball recruiters to the gorgeous Kyle Reynolds—seems to take note of her. Everyone, that is, except her own father. While her father is busy at his law practice, Liza learns about a strange new religion from Kyle. Could Kyle’s religion help her family? Or is it already too late for her father to make amends?

When yet another broken promise finally leads to tragedy, Liza doesn’t know if she will ever be able to forgive her father. It will take a good friend, a new belief, and a miracle straight from heaven to help Liza see that she still has a choice. The compelling story of a high school basketball star, this is a novel every girl will want, and none will be able to put down!

I'm very excited. The book went to press on January 15th and should be in stores in March. I'll be holding a contest to give away a copy.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Whitney Award Finalists

The finalists have been announced for the Whitney Awards.

I think there's a great representation of what LDS authors are writing. I was impressed with the nominations. I only wish I had read all of these wonderful books. (If I start now, maybe I can read all of the books that may be nominated for 2008-- I'm compiling a list of all the books I want to read).

I think The Whitney Awards is a fantastic idea and will help to propel LDS ficiton into a much more respected realm.

All of those involved with The Whitney Awards should be congratulated for all of their hard work and tireless effort to make this happen. I am so lookng forward to attending the gala immediately following the LDStorymakers Writing Conference.

This is a great thing for the LDS writing community.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Too Many Ideas Syndrome

Do you suffer from the Too Many Ideas Syndrome?

One of the most popular questions I get from kids when I do a school presentation is, "Where do you get your ideas?" There isn't some mystical, magical way to find ideas because, truthfully, ideas are everywhere.

I've found that my kids are gold mines for ideas. I've sold several magazine stories based on things that have happened to my kids. I have a long list of story ideas in my notebook directly related to things my kids have said or done.

I've gotten ideas from the news, from listening to people talk, from my friends, and from just wondering about something. I have a list of subjects I'd like to write about when I'm more comfortable writing nonfiction and most of those ideas are based on questions my kids have asked (and I couldn't answer).

I wrote a picture book based on an experience with our pigs. (I hate pigs). I haven't sold it yet, but I hope to in the future so that something good comes out of dealing with those ornery things.

So, yes, I think I suffer from TMIS. I don't think I'll ever be able to write about all the ideas I have. And, I keep getting more and more and more. My daughter gave me two ideas for chapter books just last night.

Here's a link to a Writer's Digest article that some of you may find helpful in combating TMIS:

Creativity: Overcoming Too Many Ideas Syndrome http://writersdiges jasheway- bryant_blinded. asp
Don't let your creativity get in the way of your productivity.
Here are nine tips for overcoming Too Many Ideas Syndrome.

Of course, in the long run, it's far better to have too many ideas than none at all!

Monday, January 7, 2008


The online version of our local newspaper runs polls each week. The poll last week asked if readers had made New Year's Resolutions or not. Of 1398 respondents, 75% did not make any resolutions. Isn't that interesting? I'd deduce from those responses that the community isn't very goal-oriented.

Perhaps, the idea of making New Year's Resolutions is a bit outdated or old- fashioned. Yet, I believe it was Spencer W. Kimball who said something to the effect that a goal not written down is merely a wish. I've found that to be true. I'm a list person. If I don't write something on my daily list, it doesn't usually get done. Sometimes, when life is hectic, I don't write my list and depend on myself to just remember all the things I need to do. Well, all that happens is that I accomplish very few things. I've found that if I don't write down the calls I need to make, the bills I need to pay, and the household tasks that must be completed, not only do things fall by the wayside, I feel as though I haven't accomlpished much, even if I've been busy all day long. When I have my list and check things off as I go, I feel much more productive.

I also list goals each year. I have physical and spiritual goals that I won't mention in this blog, but I'd like to list my writing goals.

1. Write every day M-F.
2. Submit a new novel.
3. Write 6 nonfiction articles for children's magazines and submit them. (I'd love
to break into Highlights this year).
4. Attend a conference (I plan to attend the Storymakers conference in March).
5. Continue to improve my skills by completing my ICL course and participating
in an English refresher.
6. Promote my novel, Heaven Scent, (which will go to press next week--
yipee) as much as I can.
7. Read one novel/month in the LDS market.

There it is for the world to see. I think it's important to not only set goals, but then evaluate those goals to see what you did/did not accomplish and to help set more realistic goals in the future.

As we set goals, I think it's important to give ourselves room to change or adapt those goals and to feel good about any of the goals we reach. Sometimes, goals take longer than we expect or life gets in the way and that's okay. As long as we have goals set, I think we're on the right track.

Here's hoping everyone will not only record their goals but accomplish them in 2008.